BUCS VPS Solutions are packaged in SaaS modules, Core Platform and Specialized Modules, which make it easy to scale and grow with your business needs. All modules in the BUCS VPS platform are based on ROIC and cash flow value drivers, which are regarded as most closely tied to shareholder value (see “Why BUCS” to learn more). The robust VPS SaaS platform is designed to facilitate actionable and repeatable visibility to data, analysis and reporting to improve management discipline, decision quality and prioritization. VPS solutions deliver performance clarity and insight with unprecedented speed to useful information at macro to micro levels. Following is a further description of each of the VPS Core products and VPS Modules.
BUCS Analytics core products and services are designed to provide middle market companies with performance context as well as performance clarity via our Value Positioning System (BUCS VPS). Performance context includes providing visibility to performance relative to the overall economy, the financial performance comparison to others within the respective industry, as well as the performance expectations for the individual company. Performance clarity is achieved by providing visibility to service, growth and value measures across key business dimensions, including market channels, sales reps and customers as well as product categories, products and suppliers. This clarity is further achieved by providing measures of performance well beyond the top-line and margin measures typically utilized as a basis for business decision making today. BUCS also provides visibility to value focused measures of cash flow and return across all dimensions and all levels of an organization. Collectively, we refer to this approach as providing business performance and analytics from the Board Room to the Shop Floor, a macro to micro ability to visualize and drill through to performance clarity. BUCS VPS core products and services provide this Board Room to Shop Floor visibility to performance, including the following components:
This provides clients with a view of performance compared to the overall economic environment. This backdrop generates an understanding of a company’s past and future performance relative to overall economic cycles. This enables company plans to consider the implications of the general economic environment in light of the associated risks this may create.
By providing a comparison of a company’s performance across a series of key financial metrics relative to companies in the same industry and of similar size a better understanding of performance strengths and weaknesses is gained. In turn, this creates a sizing of the value that can be derived by focusing resources to overcome identified weaknesses as well as the opportunity gained by sustaining and leveraging key strengths.
BUCS Performance Management framework links the contextual understanding of Economic Analysis and Financial Benchmarking to actionable insights at the company-specific level. With the ability to provide visibility to measures of Service, Growth and Value (where Value includes cash flow and return metrics) from the company level through the transactional level across business dimensions, including Customers, Products, Suppliers and Locations, clients gain rapid visibility to performance clarity. This clarity leads to a common understanding of where performance is above or below target levels. It also provides the means to quantify the opportunities so resources can be prioritized and focused on the greatest opportunities. As these focused improvements are achieved, confidence is gained, and the pace to deliver and sustain further improvements accelerates.
Once this performance assessment and measurement framework is in place, the next step is to drive company business and financial planning in a similar manner. With BUCS, the ability exists to leverage the information from the Performance Management Framework to feed the financial planning process. The financial planning process can be driven at the level appropriate for each company (e.g., Market Channel to Customer level, or Product Category to Product level). Service, Growth and Value targets can be determined and the associated planned revenues, margin and profitability can be assessed relative to the strategies deployed and investments required. With this Financial Planning component, an integrated approach to provide Board Room to Shop Floor performance management through financial planning in a repeatable manner is now in place.
By providing a range of a company’s current market value provides critical elements of knowledge key to planning. These elements of knowledge include an understanding of current relative market value compared to the current capital invested in the company. It also provides an understanding of the added value that can be derived through focused improvement activities. Overall, it provides the potential “size of the prize” that can be derived by performance improvement opportunities highlighted by the BUCS Analytics platform.
With BUCS VPS Modules, companies gain performance insight and clarity like never before to increase value across a wide range of key business functions, including Sales & Customers, Supply Chain and Product Management. VPS Modules provide a deep level of analysis and understanding to support critical decision making.
BUCS Analytics has gained the experience, developed tools and created methods to deliver decision support and analytic capabilities for its clients in a number of areas. These capabilities may be, in some instances, focused on helping companies gain efficiency through delivering insights and by enhancing key decision processes. In other instances, these activities may focus on enabling greater knowledge and understanding to more precisely focus on profitable growth opportunities.
Often these decision support and analysis capabilities are initially developed in support of a particular client, then modularized as an extension to the BUCS VPS platform, providing for use by additional clients as appropriate. In other instances, the analysis or capability may be customized to better meet the unique needs of a specific client. Either way, the experience and knowledge gained is leveraged to provide in-depth decision support and advanced business analysis in an affordable manner to mid-sized businesses.
The following provides further examples of the types of additional decision support and analytic capabilities BUCS provides to clients today. This experience and these capabilities are available and can be leveraged for others.
With the visibility now available to assess Service, Growth and Value performance measures by channel and by Customer, you now have the means to better focus actions where you have the greatest need and potential for impact. The ability to assess performance across any customer dimension is now at your finger tips, be it by market, geography, sales territory or any other attribute.
Naturally the next logical step is to determine what levers to impact to improve performance. At this juncture the “What-if” tools are useful to determine the impact of each lever, such as volume, price, as well as accounts receivable impacts. This preparation provides a sound basis for determining negotiation strategies with customers. They also have proven to provide their customers with a clearer understanding of the basis for suggested changes as well as an appreciation the changes are well founded.
With the greater clarity provided regarding customer performance and the breadth of data available with BUCS, VPS enables better methods to assess sales opportunities for existing customers. Like never before, leadership has the ability to more directly design and guide each sales conversation at a customer level.
Given product and customer volume, list price, actual price, cost of sales and order frequency information resides within BUCS VPS, the ability to see and understand actual pricing across a number of variables is available. This further provides for a framework to be established to more efficiently assess and determine suggested pricing changes whether across product sets or specific to a particular customer.
Companies generally organize their customers into groups by channel and type. These groupings prove of value as sales analytics are developed to enable comparisons across customers in common groups to then identify potential gaps and sales opportunities. As clients mature in their utilization of Sales Analytics we find the testing of these existing groupings using statistical methods provide for improved more meaningful customer segmentation. The improved segmentation enables more refined category and products sales recommendations to be provided for each individual customer.
The same information now available to assess Customer performance can now be aggregated to assess Sales Rep performance. This provides an increased understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each individual Sales Rep, which leads to better directed development activities along with the means to specify actions and measure improvements.
In the area of Demand Planning, BUCS provides companies with statistically based forecasts to drive financial planning as well to provide inputs into production and inventory planning. In other instances we review companies’ current system generated demand forecasts to assess quality, identify improvements as well as to provide increased visibility and understanding.
Frequently we are asked to assess companies’ current system inventory planning recommendations for both finished goods and raw material components. This request occurs often where benchmarks identify inventory investment as being a substantial opportunity for improvement. In addition, for many clients demand forecasts have been extended to derive inventory and purchase planning recommendations.
As you likely envision, through the process stream of providing demand and inventory planning decision support capabilities to companies, we also provide for production planning.
Developing an effective supplier performance scorecard enables more effective comparisons across suppliers. These measures often include providing an understanding of how supplier products perform within a client’s markets as well as measures of activity between the supplier and the client. Further, these measures and decision support tools create a more informed basis for negotiations as well as where to focus supplier specific improvements.
Manufacturing clients generally have a good handle on bill-of-materials for each finished goods product. As companies become more complex and the number of products grow so does the number of corresponding raw material and component parts. BUCS has created a means to provide visibility into these increasingly complex relationships to enable better end-to-end management of these critical relationships and dependencies.
Just like other key business dimensions, with BUCS VPS you now have visibility to Service, Growth and Value performance measures by category and product. This visibility provides a sound foundation to prioritize product related activities and to make better decisions timelier.
While many companies are good at bringing on new products, few are prepared to make timely decisions as to when to discontinue products. By providing product performance clarity, we also give visibility to product life-cycle performance and the means to support product prioritization, as well as product selection and de-selection decision processes.
Stocking strategies often impact both the service levels and the economics of a product. Providing visibility and understanding to this trade-offs enable better stocking decisions to be made.
Now with the product performance information that resides within BUCS VPS you have the means to assess and apply pricing strategies in a more targeted manner. Plus you have the means to measure and assess the actual impacts of price changes, providing a basis for learning and improving your pricing approach.
Gaining visibility into the buying patterns by customer segments at a product category and product levels, leads to insights on how to impact sales and product plans.
The assessment of previously launched new products provides a framework for measuring the performance of new launches. This knowledge provides guidance and a greater means to know at what level to support early stage new products.